Frame by Frame – Lawless (2012)

Year – 
Decade – 
CinematographerBenoît Delhomme (imdb) (instagram)
Director – 
John Hillcoat
Aspect Ratio2.35
The Weinstein Company; Annapurna
GenreDrama; Period Piece; 1930s
Arri Alexa
Lenses – 
Zeiss Master Primes; Angenieux Optimo zooms; Spherical
FormatDigital capture
Categories – (Click on any of the following to see similar frames from other films) Night Exteriors; Reflections; Frames Within Frames; Silhouettes; Car Shots; Dusk; Three Shots

The Movie

At the tail end of Prohibition, three moonshine bootlegging brothers (Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, and Jason Clarke) refuse to bend when a federal agent (Guy Pearce) tries to cut himself a piece of the pie. Based on a true story.

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Pic of the Day: Italian poster for Solarbabies (1986)

Solarbabies italian poster by Brian Bysouth

“Half of (Solarbabies) is pretty damn good, and half of it is the worst movie I’ve ever seen in my whole life.” – Comedy legend, and Solarbabies executive producer, Mel Brooks

Above you’ll find Brian Bysouth’s Italian release art for Solarbabies, which United International Pictures re-christened Solar Warriors for the overseas market. The film was executive produced by Mel Brooks, through his Brooksfilm shingle (The Elephant Man, Cronenberg’s The Fly). Shot in Spain and initially budgeted at $5 million, the flick ultimately cost more than $23 million.

This one somehow eluded me during my VHS-spent youth, but I’m determined to track it down after hearing How Did This Get Made’s Solarbabies episode. Check out Will Harris’ interview with Brooks about the making of the film.

For more on the work of Bryan Bysouth, here’s an interview with the British artist from the excellent poster blog Film on Paper.

Frame by Frame – One-Eyed Jacks (1961)

CinematographerCharles Lang
DirectorMarlon Brando
Aspect Ratio1.85
CamerasMitchell VistaVision
Format VistaVision

Clink on any link to see similar frames from other films.

Two Shots
Western Showdown
Locations – Jail
Frames Within Frames
Three Shots
Composing With Large Groups
Wide Shots
Full Shots

The Movie

“You’re a one-eyed jack around here, Dad. But I seen the other side of your face.” – Kid Rio (Marlon Brando)

Five years after his partner abandoned him to Federales, a bank robber (Marlon Brando) escapes from prison hell-bent on revenge against his old riding buddy (Karl Malden), who is now the respectable sheriff of a seaside California town.

One-Eyed Jacks marks Brando’s lone directorial effort and the production was a famously troubled one. After Brando and original director Stanley Kubrick not-so-amicably parted ways, Brando took over with a $2 million budget and three-month schedule allotted by Paramount. The shoot ballooned to six months and the price tag inflated to $6 million. Principal photography wrapped in June of 1959, but the movie didn’t hit theaters until March of 1961, with the final cut including Paramount-mandated reshoots that made Malden the clear villain and abandoned Brando’s downbeat original ending.

Even with the alterations, the film is bleak for its era, serving as a bridge between the “adult western” moral fables of the 1950s and the anti-hero laden revisionist 1960s oaters of Leone and Peckinpah. The latter penned an early draft of One-Eyed Jacks (which you can download here) and Rod Serling also contributed a treatment.

The film somehow ended up in the public domain, so shoddy cropped transfers have proliferated for decades on various home media formats. Criterion finally did One-Eyed Jacks justice with a 2016 Blu-ray release that featured a 4K digital restoration with input from admirers Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese.


In addition to its curio status thanks to Brando’s presence behind the camera, One-Eyed Jacks is also an historical curio as the last film released in the VistaVision widescreen format.

Paramount’s answer to 20th Century Fox’s anamorphic Cinemascope, VistaVision was a spherical large format process launched in 1954. VistaVision achieved its ample frame size by flipping standard 35mm film on its side and sending it through the gate horizontally rather than vertically. The switch resulted in 8-perf frames that were twice the size of standard 4-perf 35mm film. Even with the optical reductions required for projection, the resulting image offered superior resolution and finer grain.

However, VistaVision’s tenure as Paramount’s format of choice lasted only seven years. By the time One-Eyed Jacks reached screens, improvements in film stocks and the anamorphic process as well as the ascendance of 70mm rendered VistaVision obsolete.

The process later found a second life as a high resolution format for shooting visual effects sequences, with ILM employing VistaVision on all three of the original Star Wars films.

Single Frames

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Frame by Frame: Mindhunter Season 2 (2019)

CinematographerErik Messerschmidt (imdb link) (Instagram feed)
David Fincher (Ep 1-3), Andrew Dominik (Ep 4-5), Carl Franklin (Ep 6-9)
Aspect Ratio2.2
CameraRed Helium 8K S35
LensesLeica Summilux-C

The Show
Season 2 of Netflix’s based-in-fact series finds the FBI’s fledgling Behavioral Science unit putting its theories into practice to hunt a child killer in Atlanta.

Frame Categories
Clink on any link to see similar frames from other films.

Low Key Lighting
Composing With Large Groups
Three Shots
Two Shots
Full Shots
Eye Lights
Location – Car
Location – Bar
Skin Tones
Color – Yellow
Color – Blue
Mixed Color Temperatures

All the quotes below from cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt come from an interview I did with the DP for Filmmaker Magazine.

Single Frames

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Interview: The Invisible Man cinematographer Stefan Duscio

With movie theaters across the globe shuttering, Universal is making three of its current theatrical releases – Emma, The Hunt, and The Invisible Man – available on demand starting today for $19.99. Here’s an interview I did for Filmmaker Magazine a few weeks ago with Invisible Man cinematographer Stefan Duscio, who talks about using motion control rigs to bring the titular monster to life as well as using a prototype version of the Alexa Mini LF.